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The Centenary of Naas Racecourse – Book Reviews

Published in 2023, ‘The Centenary of Naas Racecourse – Nursery of Champions’ is available via for €50 plus post and packaging.


Return to Contents of The Centenary of Naas Racecourse


‘A fascinating canter through Irish history … gripping stories and great insight.’
Emily Hourican, Sunday Independent, here.

‘Cannot give enough praise for this wonderful coffee table publication. It’s the work of the great @turtlebunbury and is in celebration of @naasracecourse in its centenary year.’
Leo Powell, The Irish Field 

‘This summer Naas Racecourse will celebrate the 100th anniversary of its first fixture which took place on 19 June, 1924. To mark this momentous occasion, writer, historian and podcaster Turtle Bunbury has produced a fittingly celebratory volume, The Centenary of Naas Racecourse, with the subtitle Nursery Of Champions.
With individual chapters devoted to each decade, and lavishly illustrated by a superb range of historic and contemporary photographs, this splendid large-format work conveys the rich history of the venue entertainingly and instructively.
Bunbury is a prolific researcher and has unearthed a wealth of archival material dealing with the origins of the racecourse and the personalities and horses associated with it. The text is laid out in a reader-friendly way, comprising chunks of fascinating detail, about individual horses, people, and races. Some are bite-sized, others more extensive, but uniformly digestible. It’s a format that allows the reader to dip in and out of the book, skipping from one decade to another, always assured of finding an interesting anecdote or nugget of information.
In that respect, the book goes far beyond its brief as a history of a single racecourse. One of the author’s strengths is a reservoir of knowledge of well-known Irish families and public figures, enabling him to provide expansive detail about prominent owners or leading riders and trainers.
The book describes the contribution of local families who have been involved through the 100 years of the track’s existence and embraces the twin themes of continuity and progress in charting a story from modest origins to the vibrant and ambitious racecourse of today.
Almost every significant Irish racing personality of the past 100 years has had a connection with Naas Racecourse. Many great Irish horses have competed there. Bunbury’s words and an array of wonderfully atmospheric photographs do admirable justice to a proud 100-year tradition.’
Alan Sweetman
Racing Post

Conor Forrest,
The Kildare Nationalist, here

‘A magisterial history … a truly classy production. I can confidently say it is the most impressive publication relating to any aspect of Naas history yet to appear in the 21st century … The book is the most stunningly presented publication about any subject in Co Kildare that I have ever seen.’
Liam Kenny,
Naas Local History Group

‘A wonderful social history of the last 100 years. Well done, great work!’
Paul Osborne

‘A wonderful book. Fantastic photos.’
Sue Robinson

‘We are so proud of the history and story of Naas and are delighted that it’s finally been told so eloquently by Turtle Bunbury. It’s remarkable to look back at all the old photographs of both famous people and horses and it gives all of us here at Naas Racecourse an enormous sense of pride to be part of something very special. Huge thanks to everyone who helped us to bring this book to life, we are delighted with it.’
Dermot Cantillon,
Chairman of Naas Racecourse

‘Many thanks for an excellent book.  Horse books can be slow burners in the marketplace.  Your book is well written, the layout is excellent, the paper is top quality, the font is clear, and the book is all detail. You are in the background, your subject matter is in the foreground.’
Sean Kilroy,

‘A magnificent book … beautifully put together and full of interesting bits and pieces, bringing many memories of people and horses.’
Elizabeth Kelly

‘Terrific – I really enjoyed browsing through it.’
Oliver Whelan 

‘Wonderful. Beautifully laid out and I love the way he covers each decade. Well done – it is super.’
Charlie O’Reilly

‘An excellent book. the photos are particularly good and the whole thing looks really well so many congratulations to you for the whole project.’
Martin Murphy 
Horse Racing Ireland
‘A wonderful production.’
Anglo Printers Ltd ‘A really engaging book with lots of stories & images on the greats of Irish Racing and the history of Naas. Author @turtlebunbury tireless research shines throughout the book!’
Breege Cullen‘We loved it!’
Dede Gold

Morgan Kavanagh

‘Just got this from @NaasRacecourse and it’s a monster (heavy). More like an encyclopedia than a book. Some work went into this. Congrats to @turtlebunbury and all involved. Highly recommended.’
Gary Kelly

‘An excellent read – I found it hard to leave down.’
Gerard Crehan